At Exceptional Lives (or as we call ourselves, ELI) we all have credentials. We have experience, both lived and academic. We have gained experience in various professional disciplines. But that’s less interesting to me. I want to tell you what I see:
I see our executive director stepping away from her desk, no matter the immanency of the deadline, to answer the phone for her son. I see my colleague sit with her computer in the back of a minivan in the Target parking lot in between presentations to make sure her son’s paperwork for SSI is on track. I see teammates communicating with one another in focused conversation, always leading with kindness, compassion and support. In this field, maybe more than most, we understand that life happens. And it happens to us all, in different ways and at different times. We are writers, advocates, therapists, researchers, and experts dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information to families who need it.
In our daily life at ELI, there are regular ‘shout outs’ and virtual celebrations to recognize hard work among team members. When a question from a parent may not be easy to answer, we are quick to collaborate and communicate with one another to provide the best response. We recognize both our roles in ELI and our unique skill sets as individuals. I see respect. I see passion and I see commitment. And I notice that without fail, our biweekly meeting ends with a personal share from an exchange with a family: a question about the IEP process, help walking through the Transition Guide, or a parent that just needed to talk to a real person. These stories serve as regular reminders of who we serve and why the quality is so important.
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